How To Get a Job at the Top 10 U.S. Airlines

Your Career Takes Off

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Looking to work for the airlines? The top five carriers hire regularly for full-time, part-time and seasonal work for flight attendants, baggage handlers, pilots, customer service, management and other jobs. The top U.S. carriers employed 483,000 full-time and 102,447 part-time employees so far in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below are more details about available jobs and internships, benefits and information at five U.S. airlines.

Alaska Airlines - The Seattle-based carrier has openings for pilots, flight attendants, ground service and cargo, maintenance and engineering, customer service, reservations and customer care and IT. Benefits include travel privileges, health care, a 401K, performance rewards, holiday pay, an Employee Stock Purchase Plan, employee giving and volunteer programs, paid time off, relocation support, work/life employee assistance, family & medical leave and employee discounts. It also offers special consideration for military veterans.

Allegiant Airlines - The Las Vegas-based airline and travel company has nearly 4,000 employees on staff and is hiring. Jobs available include aircraft maintenance, customer service, flight operations, interns, IT and station agents. Benefits include unlimited free space-available flight privileges; guest passes for family and friends; discounted flights around the world on partner airlines; retirement planning, competitive 401(k) plan; healthcare insurance, wellness program and incentives; and training.

American Airlines - Looking for a job with the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier? The airline has openings for flight attendants, pilots, corporate/management, cargo, customer service, engineering, finance, human resources, communications, IT, maintenance and marketing, among other positions. The carrier offers undergraduate and graduate internships and has a special recruiting program, American Airlines Development Program for Technology (ADEPT), to develop an IT technical talent pipeline. Benefits include health and life insurance, long term care, legal aid, an employee credit union, 401(k) matching funds, profit-sharing and incentives.

 Employees, their families, and friends can travel almost anywhere in the world on American and American Eagle, get discounted travel on other airlines and enjoy special rates on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.

Delta Air Lines - The Atlanta-based carrier is hiring in the following categories: inflight services, flight attendant, baggage handling/ramp operations, corporate/management, pilots, cargo, IT, airport customer service, reservations and flight operations. It makes internships and co-ops available for students that offer hands-on experience in flight simulation, engine maintenance, project management, network planning, demand forecasting, research and analysis, to name a few. Positions are available year-round at the undergraduate level and, during the summer, at the MBA/graduate level.

Finally, the airline offers travel privileges after completing 30 days of service to go anywhere Delta flies. It also offers health/wellness, 401(k) plan, education benefits, adoption assistances and employee discounts on products and services.

Frontier Airlines - Not only is the Denver-based carrier hiring pilots and flight attendants, it's also hiring interns, baggage representatives, financial analysts, maintenance workers and recruiters. Perks include flight benefits, medical/dental insurance, a 401(k) and paid sick leave and vacation time.

Hawaiian Airlines - The island's flag carrier has more than 5,000 employees and is hiring in a number of positions. Benefits include unlimited travel on the airline for you, your spouse, dependent children and parents. Employees are also given 20 one-way friendship travel passes each year to give to friends and relatives. Also available are medical and dental coverage; flexible spending accounts for health care and dependent care; 401(k) retirement plan with company matching contributions; life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance; long-term disability; and an employee assistance program

​​​JetBlue - The New York City-based airline notes that "inspiration starts here" on its jobs home page. The carrier has positions in airport and ground operations, customer support, inflight, pilots, corporate, system operations and technical operations. The airline also nurtures students with College Crew, its paid summer internship program. Employees receive medical, dental and vision insurance, group legal, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, 401(k) plan, profit sharing, employee stock purchase plan and voluntary discount programs.

And crewmembers get free standby travel on JetBlue, as well as reduced-rate standby travel on some other airlines.

Southwest Airlines - The Dallas-based carrier urges potential employees to take the flight of their life when applying for a job here. Positions are available in Aircraft MaintenanceAirport OperationsCall CenterCorporateFlight Operations and Inflight. The airline has the Emerging Leader Development Program (ELDP), an 18-month job rotational program that trains and develops leaders for Southwest. Participants are placed anywhere in the Southwest system for on-the-job training in a Leadership role, as well as Leadership training at Headquarters in Dallas.

It also offers an Internship program. It offers benefits including free travel privileges, casual dress code, ProfitSharing, a 401(k) match program, and great health benefits, including medical, dental and vision.

Spirit Airlines - The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based ultra-low-cost carrier has employees in more than 50 destinations in 18 countries. Available jobs include IT analyst, ground instructor, inflight supervisor, pilot base coordinator and technical writer.

United Airlines - See your career take off at the Chicago-based carrier. Jobs are available in airport operations, flight attendants, pilots, flight operations, food services, IT, corporate, network operations, reservations and maintenance. The airline also has summer and semester internships for undergraduate and graduate students in most job categories. Along with the usual health and life insurance, the airline offers employees and their families discounted rates on airline tickets and unlimited standby travel to anywhere United flies.

There's also profit-sharing, a 401(k), business resource groups, social clubs and volunteer opportunities.